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Featured News
All night street-lights

12 January 2019

Eight years ago, the County Council decided to turn off many street-lights overnight, in order to save money and to reduce carbon emissions. The lights stay on all night on main thoroughfares. Although relatively few people are out and about in the small hours, the change did create fears of burglary, vehicle thefts etc when the lights are out. Essex Police stated at the time that they were not aware of any increase in crime caused by a lack of lighting (and indeed the village of Theydon Bois has no street-lights anyway).

Epping Forest District Council has recently negotiated an agreement with Essex County Council to allow individual town or parish councils to opt to have street-lights on all night – but paid for by local Council Taxpayers. As the County Council is responsible for street-lighting, some residents see this as a form of stealth tax.

Like much of the rest of Essex, many parts of the District are not close to large towns, and all-night lighting may not be a significant issue. However Loughton, and nearby areas, are close to London, and served by the Central Line Tube, which runs all night on Fridays and Saturdays, so there’s more late-night traffic and a greater fear of crime in Loughton between 1am and 5am when the lights are out.

For Loughton to have the lights on between all night in residential areas would cost the town’s Council Taxpayers around 35,000 a year (around 3 a household) - in due course the Town Council will be considering the pros and cons of making the change, and will also need to gauge public opinion. The same process will no doubt be carried out by the District’s other parish and town councils.